Being a Young Shots Journalist (YSJ) is a creative way for young people to have a voice in shooting, a sport dominated by older generations. Each month you can write, photograph or film anything you feel passionately about. The BASC team is always happy to offer ideas and help along the way, too, whenever you get stuck.

I have been a Young Shots Journalist for two years now. Life on the farm can be very busy at times like harvest and lambing. Luckily, the BASC publications team that Young Shots Journalists work with is always supportive and understanding. You don’t have to put too much pressure on yourself. In the end, this is all about having fun while gaining useful experience.

What is being a Young Shots Journalist all about?

I had quite a long break from shooting before I joined YSJ. It was around that time when I really started to grow my interest in this sport. I did a lot of research into shooting with each story I wrote. Being a Young Shots Journalist helped me improve my knowledge of the sport, and my enthusiasm flourished. I enjoyed seeing my articles published on the website and in the magazine as a finished product. The feeling of achievement really motivated me to continue. The editing the BASC staff do on the articles I submit is always appreciated. They find mistakes I’ve missed and tweak the piece where needed, but not enough to change the story and how I intended it to look.

Being a Young Shots Journalist during the coronavirus lockdown, limited by opportunities to shoot and attend events. But coming up with interesting topics and writing stories gave me something to do and focus on. It kept my interest going, and pushed me to try new things. I even made a game pie from start to finish (you can find many recipes to try, here).

Hopefully now, as things return to normal, all Young Shots Journalists will have an array of story ideas to share. Especially with clay grounds reopening and country shows and game fairs coming back, too. One of the benefits of being a YSJ is free entry to Young Shots events. So, if everything goes well, 2022 Young Shots will have an opportunity to make the most of these.

How does it work?

The monthly schedule gives you enough time to think of ideas to write about. Taking inspiration from the time of the year and relevant news creates interesting submissions that are often easier to put together, as your information is more relevant and easier to find.

Being a Young Shots Journalist over the last two years helped me improve my writing and researching skills. I found that some stories might have a more sensitive subject than others, and that word choice is important. People can have strong views on certain topics. Taking a fairly open-minded approach when writing has helped me. My style has become clear to me and I find myself writing much more naturally, especially as the subject matter interests me.

My time so far as a Young Shots Journalist has been positive and enjoyable. The submissions always give me a new challenge and a feeling of accomplishment when completed. It has helped keep my interest in shooting going in these difficult times. I feel like I have learned a lot. Are you thinking about becoming a Young Shots Journalist? You will not regret it and will enjoy all that comes with it, so apply now.


Edward Lyon

My name is Edward Lyon and I’m 17. I’m in my first year studying agriculture at Bishop Burton College in Yorkshire. In my spare time, if I’m not shooting, you can usually find me riding my horse or out on a tractor. My interest in shooting has been a natural progression from bagging the odd rabbit or pigeon on my grandparents’ farm. I then took part in a clay pigeon competition through my local Young Farmers’ Club and ended up qualifying for the national championships with an old 20-bore side-by-side gun. I just missed a placing and so was inspired to buy a 12-bore over-and-under and have joined a local clay shooting club to hone my skills. Over the last year or so, I’ve also developed a keen interest in game shooting after being invited as a guest by a couple of friends. I’m now keen to go beating and learn more about what goes on behind the scenes of a successful shoot. This will be my second year as a Young Shots Journalist, and I look forward to getting out and about with my gun as much as possible.